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Banana Foster was created in 1951 by Paul Blangé at Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was named for Richard Foster, a friend of Owen Brennan's and New Orleans Crime Commission chairman. Bananas Foster is a dessert made from bananas  with the sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and dark rum. The butter, sugar and bananas are cooked, and then the alcohol is added and ignited. The bananas and sauce are then served over vanilla ice cream.

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), melted
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large, firm, ripe banana, peeled and halved lengthwise and then halved crosswise
2 Tablespoons dark rum, such as Myer Rum
1 Tablespoon banana liqueur, such as 99 Bananas
Vanilla ice cream

1. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and stir to dissolve the sugar, about 1 minute. If the heat is too high, the butter and sugar will separate instead of combining to form a sauce.

2. Add the bananas and spoon some sauce over each piece. Cook until the bananas are glossy and golden on the bottom. Turn the bananas and continue cooking until very soft but not mushy or falling apart.

3. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the rum and the banana liqueur and wait until the rum has warmed slightly. Wave a lit match over the pan until the rum ignites, shaking the pan to distribute the flame over the entire pan. When the flames subside, divide the bananas among two bowls, scoop ice cream on the bananas, drizzle the sauce over the ice cream and serve immediately.

Posted on Jan 23, 2008


summer berry-clafouti recipeJen of Milk and Cookies adapted this clafoutis recipe from Donna Hay Magazine. Clafoutis is a classic French dessert, a specialty of the Limousin region, France. It is usually made with fresh black cherries. It can be served warm or at room temperature. Whether you prefer a little firmer and more cakey or custardy and puddinglike, is all up to you. This recipe is so easy. Any way you make it or eat it, it is simply delicious!

Make 6 servings

4 eggs
1/3 cup caster sugar
300 ml pure single or pouring cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup plain all-purpose flour
1 pint blueberries
½ pint blackberries or mulberries
1 pint raspberries
½ pint strawberries, halved and hulled
Icing (confectioner’s) sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat over to 160ºC (320ºF). Brush oven proof dish with butter.

2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, sugar, cream and vanilla extract and whisk until frothy.

3. Sift flour over egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour batter into prepare oven proof dish and scatter berries evenly throughout the dish.

4. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until the center has just set and golden.Remove from oven and dust with icing sugar to serve.

Posted on Jan 23, 2008


This is a simple and easy jelly roll recipe that will look like you took a long time to make it. It is easier to separate the eggs white while it is still cold. Let the egg whites come to room temperature before whipping.

Make 8 to 10 servings

4 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup strawberry jam or jelly, stirred well
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, sifted

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Line a 15- x 10- x 1-inch jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper. In a small bowl beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and set aside.

2. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks until light. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla, and mix well. Add the sifted flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture. Fold in the egg whites into the egg mixture and pour the batter into the jelly roll pan and spread the batter evenly with a offset spatula. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the cake is golden or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.

3. Loosen edges of cake, and invert cake onto a clean towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Gently peel parchment paper off cake. Trim 1/4-inch of hard crust off each long side of the jelly roll cake.

4. Begin with the narrow side and roll the cake and towel up together. Cool cake on rack, seam side down, for 10 to 15 minutes. Once cake has cooled, gently unroll. Using a small offset spatula, spread cake evenly with jam or jelly and re-roll. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar.

Note: You can substitute the strawberry jam with any of your favorite fruit jam.

Posted on Jan 23, 2008


A straightforward and unpretentious creation that is so simple, so rich, so praised with a twist. Watch the video to learn the basic technique for making creme brulee. If you like to make traditional creme brulee, omit the grated lemon. | Video

3 cups whipping cream
5 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
6 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon turbinado sugar such as Sugar in the Raw brand

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Arrange eight 3/4-cup custard cups or ramekins in 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan.

2. Combine cream and lemon peel in heavy small saucepan and bring to simmer. Whisk sugar and yolks in large bowl until thick, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in hot cream mixture, then vanilla and salt. Let stand 10 minutes. Strain custard, then divide among cups.

3. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake custards until just set in center, about 55 minutes. Remove custards from water bath; chill uncovered until firm, at least 3 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

4. Set broiler rack so that custard tops will be 1-1/2 to 2 inches from heat and change oven setting to broil. Alternatively, have ready a blowtorch. Sprinkle turbinado sugar evenly over the creme brulee and heat under broiler until sugar is melted and caramelized.

Posted on Jan 18, 2008


Pavlovas were created for, and in honor of, a Russian ballerina. It is crispy on the outside but light and fluffy inside. Leftover decorated pavlova can be refrigerated overnight, but the dessert will absorb moisture from the air and lose its crispness. Undecorated pavlova can safely be left overnight in the oven in which it was baked, and decorated when ready to serve. Use the egg yolks to make pastry cream.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

1/2 cup egg whites, at room temperature (about 4 large eggs)
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated white sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon raspberry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/2 pint (156 g) fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 pint (156 g) fresh blueberries
1/2 pint (156 g) fresh raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C.) Sift the granulated sugar and cornstarch, set aside. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, begin beating the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt in a clean, dry bowl until foamy.

2. Add the granulated sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, and vanilla and continue whipping until the beaters leave ridges in the whites, and the meringue hold a stiff, smooth and glossy peak when the beaters are lifted out, about 8 minutes.

3. On a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit a sheet pan, use a pencil to trace a 9-inch circle. Line the sheet pan with the parchment, pencil side down. Spoon the egg whites into the circle, using the back of the spoon to smooth the top and sides of the disk.

4. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and bake until the meringue has puffed up and cracked on the top and the surface is lightly browned, about 45 minutes.

5.Turn off the oven, prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon, and let the pavlova cool in the oven at least 30 minutes, to room temperature. This ensures a gradual cooling, which protects the delicate meringue.

6. To assemble, spoon it in the center of the cooled pavlova and spread out to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Arrange the slices of strawberry around the edge. Arrange the blueberries and raspberries in the middle. To serve, slice into wedges with a serrated knife. Place on the plate and spoon some of the raspberry sauce over the top. Serve immediately.

Raspberry Sauce
1/2 pint (156 g) fresh raspberries
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup seedless raspberry jam (12-ounce jar)
1 Tablespoon raspberry liqueur

Place the raspberries, sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and raspberry liqueur into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a nonreactive measuring cup or small glass bowl and chill until ready to serve.

Sweetened Whipped Cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

Whip the cream, brown sugar, and vanilla until stiff.

Posted on Jan 18, 2008

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